When it comes to things like Alexa and Google Home, I am honestly undecided about how I feel about them. I have a Google Home mini but it is still in the box because I haven’t decided if I should set it up or not. I can appreciate the convenience that items like that can provide. It could be nice to simply ask what the weather is or to set a timer. It can be beneficial for seniors or those with disabilities. My cousin had bought a Google Home for my aunt, who had severe mobility issues among other health issues. She thought my aunt could use it to call people or play music. My aunt was very skeptical of it, but my cousin’s kids had tons of fun asking Google to tell them jokes. I’m not sure if my aunt ever came around.
On the other hand, I am also skeptical of relying on Alexa or Google Home for things that I could do myself. I could look up the weather on my phone or set a timer. I don’t even use the virtual assistant on my phone (on an android, it’s Bixby). Having an assistant like Alexa plugged in all the time makes me feel like it’s monitoring you constantly, waiting for you to ask it something. I do think it’s interesting that people often say “please” or “thank you” when speaking to it. I would probably do that too, but it’s weird to me because even with a “human” name like Alexa, I still see it as a machine. Artificial intelligence is a concept that I have a hard time wrapping my head around. When it comes to libraries, I am hesitant about how it can be used.